Sunday August 2 – the daily story

Moussavi rage at ‘medieval torture’ — Mir-Hossein Moussavi today condemned Saturday’s “show-trial” of more than 100 detainees and said the confessions aired were worthless because they had been extracted by medieval torture. The rage he clearly feels over the trial was underscored in the statement posted on his Facebook site by the Qoranic quote at the  bottom: “If God wanted to punish people because of their oppression, he would leave not the slightest one spare; but he is postponing their punishment until a certain time and as soon as their deaths arrive, they cannot alter that by even an hour.”

Referring to the confessions of conspiring with foreigners to overthrow the Islamic Republic, Moussavi said: “ I paid deep attention to their words and did not find such claims; rather I heard them telling their painful story with a deep cry of what they went through during these past 50 days; broken men who would have confessed to anything they we ordered to. Truly what else they could this have told us other than the suffering they went through?”

He said the “teeth of torturers” were now biting so deep into the public bone to force confessions that they were attacking the very founders of the revolution. Referring to the term Islamic Republic, Moussavi said that after taking the word ‘republic’ to the slaughterhouse, ”now you are also targeting its ‘Islamic’ part and its dignity with such disgraceful actions. The only certain judgment of anyone with a conscience witnessing such staged trials is the collapse of morality and the discredit of their directors.”

Moussavi questioned how a trial in which everything was forged could possibly prove there was no forgery in the election. The trial was ignoring the legal basics while promoting irrelevant stories, discarded books, “reports from reporters no one has ever heard of” and “[so-called] confessions in which traces of medieval torture are apparent. Haven’t they read that the great Prophet (Mohammad, peace be upon him) said there is no blame on one who confesses after being tortured and there is no true confession made by one who is imprisoned or in chains and has been threatened?”

He added: “Soon the nation will witness the trial of those who committed these crimes and identify the interrogators and torturers who play with their lives and dignity like this.”

Moussavi’s attack was echoed by other reformist leaders. Mohammad Khatami, the former President, condemned the trial as a “show” and a violation of the constitution. “Such show trials will directly harm the system and will further damage public trust,” he said. Khatami accused the authorities of obtaining the confessions used in the trial under duress and of not allowing the defendants access to lawyers. He hoped the trial would not serve to hide the “real crimes” committed after the election, including the abuse and murder of detainees.

Mohsen Rezai, one of the beaten presidential candidates, also attacked the trial, saying that the government should instead have prosecuted those that attacked the people and tortured prisoners. His website said he has written to the Head of the Judiciary warning that  unrest will continue if those who attacked the peaceful demonstrations were not brought to justice. It was the death in custody of the son of Rezai’s campaign adviser that brought the issue of detentions and torture spilling into the public domain.

Meanwhile,  state news agency reports said another 10 people arrested in the recent unrest had gone on trial today in a closed court session. No reason was given for excluding  “the public” and the 10 were not identified, although the reports said they did not include any “known political activists”.  Facebook, ReutersAP, PressTV

‘No torture’ — Kazem Jalali, spokesman of the special Majlis committee looking into the post-election detentions, told journalists today that none of the inmates seen by the committee at Evin prison on Saturday  has been tortured or physically harmed during their incarceration. According to Fars news agency he said all the detainees expressed satisfaction over the good behaviour of the prison guards in section 209, where the post-election prisoners are kept. But they had asked for a speedy resolution of their situation. “The point during the meeting with the detainees was that none of them talked about mistreatment or torture.” Jalali said. The committee members had hour-long interviews with all but 50 inmates of section 209 – it was not stated what the total occupancy was. The remaining 50 will be seen Monday. Jalali did add, however, that the committee had met with the caretaker administrator of the Intelligence Ministry to express its concern about forced confessions. He did not name the caretaker they saw: technically speaking it is President Ahmadinejad. Fars

Chemical bomb ‘plot’ — Iranian officials today took up where yesterday’s big trial left off with a barrage of claims about foreign intervention in election unrest, with  Mehdi Zahedi, the Minister of Science and Technology, claiming intelligence forces had uncovered a plot to set off 10 “chemical bombs” in different cities. “They also had plans to carry out chemical explosions in several locations in Tehran on the day of the election,” Zahedi said in quotes carried by Fars news agency. He alleged the counter-revolutionary “agents” involved had “allocated $400m to provoking instability in Iran” and has tried to brainwash Iranian youths into launching a “velvet revolution”. “This political movement started its preparations for overthrowing [the Islamic Republic] nearly a year ago,” he said.

Fars also quoted Hojatoleslam Hossein Taeb, commander of the Basij, telling a group of recruits in Tehran how America, “helped by certain elements inside the country”, played a big role in fomenting the unrest. Pointing to the activities of foreign-based Persian channels, including BBC Persian, he said: “They (the US and its affiliates) were seeking to disturb the election and create a condition in which either the reformist candidate (Mir-Hossein Moussavi) would win or they would allege fraud had happened.”

Yesterday Rear Admiral Habibollah Sayari warned against efforts to hit Iran with negative propaganda. “The enemy is striving to disturb public opinion in Iranian society by manipulating and broadcasting false news,” he said. Fars, Fars

In other news:

Ali-Akbar Javanfekr said today he had  tendered his resignation two weeks ago as press adviser to President Ahmadinejad “to give the re-elected president a chance to study his possible options for the post”, but the move had not so far been accepted. He emphasised that he had not been offered any other post. Fars

Two MPs have complained that the $280m loan to Bolivia announced last week has not been approved by the Majlis. Dariush Qanbari and Mostafa Kokabian have written a complaint to the deputy speaker: “The government must first obtain permission from the Majlis, and we must ask those responsible to explain their act.” PressTV

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